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Throw Out The Rundown

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Random Control Room Shot

In newsrooms across the country producers were yelling, “throw out the rundown” when word of the twin bombings in Boston got to them.

Having been in newsrooms and control rooms during numerous breaking news stories I know that phrase all too well. In a split second you dump everything you’ve been planning for your newscast. Then you get on the air as quickly as possible to inform your viewers about what is happening in their world. All the while — piecing together senseless facts and trying to give a clear picture of what is going on.  Those are usually the best newscasts because everyone is on their toes.

My heart goes out to the city of Boston. I’ve been there a few times — most recently almost 4 years ago when I stayed at the Lenox Hotel and ate lunch at Atlantic Fish on Boylston street. You may now recognize these two places because that’s right where one of the bombs went off.

I often write about embracing structure, always having a plan and thinking ahead but on days like April 15, 2013 – that all goes out the window.

A good friend of mine just told me she is pregnant with her second child and wasn’t “planning on having another so soon.” She’s a big planner like me. But she is happily “throwing out the rundown” and welcoming this new baby into her life.

These got me thinking about how I approach life and that sometimes I could stand to be a little less rigid and not always stick to the rundown. You never know what an unexpected event will bring you. Whether it be heartache or happiness we should all learn to go with the flow and go along for the ride — good or bad.

I’m going to give myself permission to just go through the day without accounting for every single second.  I still see the value in preparation and am not going to abandon my lists any time soon but I really think sometimes you have to just “throw out the rundown” and live your life.

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Start Next Year’s Taxes Today

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Tax day is here! So you’re either cringing and cramming to get your return in on time, looking for a good place to file a tax extension online because you’re not going to have enough time or you’re sitting back, sighing a breath of relief that you’ve already gotten your money from the government. Whichever category you fall into — this post is for you. There is a lot of confusion around taxes.

Most people barely know enough about them to get their taxes done, come tax season. This means that they sometimes leave them too late to get their taxes done on time or they sometimes miss out major information that may cost them money.

This is why people feel the need to get an accountant or tax expert to do their taxes for them as they don’t want to miss anything out. Little do they know that there are plenty of resources available today to help them do their taxes themselves, rather than shelling out on an accountant.

Be Prepared

I’ve spoken about Evernote before because I think it’s a great tool for keeping organized and remembering everything you need to in one place. It’s also fabulous for keeping track of your tax information.

I used it this year and it really helped to keep me on track. Next year you should try it too. Starting now though will keep you less stressed when tax time comes around again. Here’s what I did:

1. Make a notebook in Evernote called “Taxes”.

2. Create a note that lists out all the documents that you will need to collect for next year’s taxes. That’s all the 1099 forms for each of your accounts and employers. Put a checkbox next to each so you can check them off as you get the correct paperwork.

3. Throughout the year put notes and receipts in this notebook for tax writeoffs.

4. When you start getting 1099 forms back later in the year — scan them into this folder.

5. Once you get all your information together — do your taxes! Or send off all the forms to your accountant.

That’s it. If you just take the extra step to be a little bit ahead of the game you won’t be scrambling this time again next year. Think of all the time and money you’ll save! Let me know how you keep track of your tax information.

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3 Ways to Be Less Stressed for the Holidays

christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

It’s pretty much impossible to not feel the heat when the holidays arrive.  Gift giving, traveling, entertaining, cooking, parties, expenses, family — the list of stressers go on and on!  For the past few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to go easy on myself.  Here’s some of the ways I combat holiday stress:

1.  Start holiday shopping early: Don’t wait til the last second! It will only stress you out.  You have more than enough time to get gifts for everyone on your list without doing the crazy person dash on Christmas Eve.  Online shopping is pretty much the best invention ever.  Use it to your advantage!  Lots of retailers offer free shipping too. Read more